I am trying my go at DMing for the first time and I am slowly trying to build an encounter and I want the encounter to be a bit more interesting then just like one type of mob. So I have been trying to research a bit and having a hard time find the info I am looking for. Is there no book or official place where I can see which monsters associate with each other ?
Fx orc have maybe goblins running around with them or dire wolves etc. I am not doing the classic or but something else. on Dndbeyond you can sort monsters by environment but not by association which I would actually like to have. MM 5E doesn't have such a list and I don't remember a list in 2nd edition either.
I would love to hear if anyone has ideas on where to find such info from other DMs
For the most part, it's sort of a "feel" thing. I think it was 4e and its "Encounter Groups" that did the best job of guiding DMs towards a more holistic group of monsters. Overall though, it's basically up to you to sort out what lives with what and why. If you had some base monster encounters you'd like some help spicing up, I'd be glad to offer up some suggestions.
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"The mongoose blew out its candle and was asleep in bed before the room went dark." —Llanowar fable
Generally I start by making the groups based off of terrain/geographical location. It would be a little difficult to swallow having Umberhulks wandering the desert with a flock? herd? pack? of Owlbears as a random encounter.
The next step I take is monster type/subtype, having goblinoids hanging out is pretty obvious, undead with other undead, etc. however you can take that a step further and take something like a pack of Werewolves hanging with beasts, undead, and humanoids in an encounter as they kind of cross over into all 3 territories.
If that approach doesn't quite fit, I base it off the scenario I'm trying to build: a fallen druid having a home in a dark forest with shrikers, ropers, shambling mounds, and an otygh seems like a fun day.
The hard part is that the ecology of monsters is generally defined by the terrain, the way they interact is not defined outside of a few specific instances in the MM. Part of this is due to the plethora of monsters to choose from, trying to tie them into each other as social structure would be a fairly large endeavor. The other reason is so the DMs can choose those interactions as part of their game; if you want to make Hobgoblins hate goblins but get along swimmingly with gnolls, that's on you.
I think I might get my hands on the 4E book and use that as a basis
Yeah, what you are looking for is the 4e Monster Manual. Encounter groups for each kind of monster are sort of broken up by level and stuff like this:
Now, most of that information will not be as helpful since monsters in 5E don't stat out the same as 4E monsters did and there are a lot less options in monsters within a creature-type, but it should give you a good idea of sort of what plays together anyway.
Actually 5e does have some monster associations already built in. The goblinoid family of hobgoblins, goblins, and bugbears teaming with wolves and worgs comes to mind immediately. Gnolls and hyenas are another team-up...and I don't know if 5E has the Flind but if so then you can add them to the list. And orcs teaming up with an ogre or two is an old favorite. I have personally used the various blights in conjunction to great effect. I also believe that Volo's goes into more detail as far as some of these monster groupings so you can check that out if you have the ability.
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As for me, I choose to believe that an extinct thunder lizard is running a game of Dungeons & Dragons via Twitter!
well its easy to use the classic things that we know but it would be interesting to see other monster hence I would like to see something like this coming out for 5E. But again sky is the limit if the DM says they work together then they do the rules are only guidelines but sometimes its good to have some suggestions
Speaking of suggestions, my offer to help out is still open. If you have some monster groups you'd like to see spiced up a bit for your game, feel free to post them here and what level your players are and I can whip up a few thematic encounter groups for you.